ComRes for ITV News, 20 July 2013:
“After a fortnight which included high-profile debates around Labour and Ed Miliband’s relations with the trade unions, Britons are saying they do not believe that the Labour leader will be the next Prime Minister. Fewer than one in four (22%) expect Ed Miliband to be the Prime Minister in 2015.
– Two in five (42%) agree that the Labour Party understands the concerns of ordinary people better than the Conservatives. However, this is down 5 points from last September and more than one in three (36%) disagree.
Our emphasis, there. We’ve written at length on this site previously about the public’s lack of faith in Ed Miliband and the unlikelihood of Labour winning in 2015 as a result, so there’s no real news in the headline stat.
But the surprise to us is the middle finding in the list: that a clear 10-point margin of UK voters would prefer another Tory/Lib Dem coalition to a Labour/Lib Dem one.
Labour’s single-digit poll lead, in the mid-term of a government implementing cuts of unprecedented brutality in British political history, is already catastrophically feeble. But the fact that Lib Dem voters, historically always seen as left-leaning, now appear to be throwing their lot in with the Tories is a hugely significant development.
As noted by YouGov’s Peter Kellner, Labour’s problem has traditionally been that the electorate saw it as “nice but dim” – that is, people would rather live under what were seen as Labour values, but doubted the party’s competence at making it happen. The fourth finding in the ComRes list, though, shows even that advantage evaporating fast.
Because now, as “One Nation” Labour desperately adopts more and more Tory policies (most notably on welfare, immigration and defence) in an attempt to placate right-wing voters in the south of England, all that’s left is “dim”.